My early life

I was born in 1947 in the small country town of Gulargambone in the central western plains of New South Wales (NSW). At the end of the Second World War my father left the Royal Australian Navy and my newly married parents moved from Sydney to work on my grandfather’s market garden in Gulargambone.

My mother, a Sydney girl, could not adjust to country life and when I was about six months old, my parents moved back to Sydney where I grew up in the south western suburb of Panania. I spent every waking hour with my mates exploring the bush and the wilds of the Georges River and beyond. Like most baby boomers, we were allowed the freedom to play and discover provided we were home before the street lights came on. They were important years in developing independence and lifelong friendships.

My high school education was completed at De La Salle College Kingsgrove and I attained my Leaving Certificate at the end of 1964. I took pride in representing the school in athletics and rugby league which was character building and a great experience being part of a team.


Graham (middle row, fourth from left) with his school football mates – 1964.
Graham Blewitt in school uniform in 1963.

A very enjoyable time in my late teens was when, in 1963, I joined four of my school mates in a rock and roll band, “The After Five”. My contribution to the group was playing the keyboard. We were a successful covers band playing at parties and dance functions. A particular highlight for the band was performing each year at the University of NSW’s Regimental Ball. The group disbanded in about 1969 when life and study became a priority. To this day the surviving band members meet regularly for memorable lunches reminiscing old times.


The After Five – Graham on keyboard – 1964